wedding wedding wedding wedding wedding wedding wedding wedding wedding

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I am starting to blog again!

Wow! It has been a while, but I wanted to start posting " a few of my favorite things".
I will no longer be posting on this blog (our wedding blog), but rather you can read about my diversions and crafts at Willow Street Creative. So click on!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Finally, Ron's Tallis is Finished!

Well, after many nights at the sewing machine, I finally finished Ron's tallis and tallis bag ;) The Atarah took the most time--it's all hand-embroidered. I wish I could have used my machine. But it's all done and now Ron is ready to pray in style! The inside of the tallis bag is made of leftover silk from our chuppah, but the rest of the tallis is linen, silk and satin I specially picked out for Ron.

Of course now that this project is done, I am thinking I should make a nice Chuppah bag to keep our Chuppah nicely stored. I am now working on several quilt squares and a book for my mom. I am hoping to publish the book this summer. I'll also try to continue with more posts on the metalsmithing i'll be working on this year.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Adventures in Kangarooland

I suspect this will be our last entry for 2005, as we are about to embark on our honeymoon trip to the great continent of Australia. I will try my best not to smuggle any cute animals out of the country. It just amuses me to think of what life in our house would be like with a pet koala or kangaroo running around, chasing the cats. One day I will write a children's book about our cats and their "imaginary" animal friends: the river otter, the duck, the penguin, the porquipine, and yes...the jumping kangaroo! Stay tuned to our "koala" link with pictures from our trip!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Ron, the official foodie and chef in our family did a spectacular job of finding the right caterer for our wedding: a KVH kosher one-stop caterer that not only supplied the food, but also the wedding cake, the linens, china, flatwear, tables and chairs. What a relief it was to have all of that taken care of by one vendor. We STILL have leftovers, but mostly stuff that never goes bad if you freeze it, like chocolate cake. We also had a fall salad with spring greens, cranberries and pistachios. For lunch we served salmon and chicken with a Fall vegetable medley. In addition to the traditional wedding cake, we had fresh warm apple tarts with berries and cream. Hungry?


So you became engaged, and you don't have anything to wear? That's what I said. At first I thought I would try to have my mother's gown altered to fit me since I grew up admiring my mother's beautiful bridal portait on the wall of our house. It's a beautiful dress, but as design would have it, I felt it looked better in the box than on me. A friend of mine told me about a place called Vows, a bridal outlet store located in Newton, Massachusetts that specializes in sophisticated designer wedding gowns for much much less.

Fortunately, unlike most of the other shops I had visited, I was able to fill my dressing room with many gowns that not only were beautiful, but were also within my budget. This shop had a very homey and relaxed atmosphere, with wonderful assistance. Vows been written up in the Best of Boston by Boston Magazine as the best place to go for your wedding gown for the past 5 years. I also used their searchable website to virtually pick out gowns before I visited to try them on.

As a result, I found a gorgeous ivory silk Ulla Maja gown that had a very simple a-line cut, and gorgeous cascading train in the back. My good friend Pamela Berberich let me borrow her beautiful veil that fortunately was the same hue of white. With shoes Ron had helped me find at Filene's ($19!!!), and flowers for my hair taken from a vase in our dining room, I was prepared to walk down the aisle in my finest. Hey, I clean up alright, don't I?


After stamping so many monograms, I decided to decorate the doors of the Lyman with our initials. I actually collect J's so I had a large gold letter J in my sewing room. However, since Ron didn't have a letter R, I had to go out and get one of those. Fortuantely I found one that matched perfectly. We simply hung them from the main door of the Lyman Estate using ribbon from my sewing box for a very quick door treatment. No need to have the florist make a we will use the letters to decorate our new offices when we move!


Ok, I'll admit it: I LOVE PAPER! I love scrap paper, wrapping paper, drawing paper, butcher-paper, newspaper, collage and scrapbook paper, stationery paper...and of course bank notes of any name it..I am an artist and therefore I have accumulated a lot of paper over the years. So as a result, I had fun making a collage using various sentimental scraps I had been saving for our wedding: it consisted of three photographs, postcards from our travels, notes, paper flowers, our invitation, and other items that I put together in a shadow box. The main shadow box collage was then flanked by a childhood photgraph of Ron and I to make a triptich that was placed on a table in the hallway of the Lyman where guests would see it as they arrived.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Miracle of the Paper Source

Here is just a little plug for the Paper Source: Begun in 1983 from one woman's obsession with paper, Paper Source is the premiere seller of fine, handmade papers from around the world. Their spectacular selection is sold in a wide range of forms - large sheets, pre-cut and packaged letter sized sheets, envelopes and accessories. Their palette is uniquely Paper Source - with colors developed by and exclusively manufactured for their business. Thank goodness for the Paper Source because they supplied almost all of the paper I used for both my brother's and my own wedding! And when I am not there shopping for paper for a wedding, I am just shopping for paper! For those of you visiting this blog to read about wedding crafts, I promise to post all the project info for our invites, save-the-dates, wedding programs, guest book, chocolate boxes, favors, thank you notes ...pant-pant...etc! So for wedding craft ideas, stay tuned!! I'll be sharing details soon! But read below for other ideas.

Comments Anyone?

Enjoying yourself so far? Just a few more snapshots from our wedding: and I will use this blog to remind myself to write my next entries about the Victorian wedding band (a.k.a. the ring), and the White Heat Swing Orchestra. If there are any comments are requests for info, feel free to post a comment. Ron's tallis (which I am ashamed to say is still work in progress). Wedding cake? Quartets? What else would you like to read about? Let me know.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Michelle Arruda DeVoe created a miracle out of my hair...and she also applied my makeup. Michelle's studio is called Demiche. Michelles business has grown from a small consultation business, to a full scale established enterprise offering hair cutting and coloring, skin care, makeup and her signature hairstyle designs. Michelle and her team have traveled all over the country providing hair and makeup services for national print ads, fashion shows, films, television, pageants, and weddings. So if you are looking for a stylist for your special day and you are in the Boston area, call her: tel/fax: 781.662.1796,

Busy Bee

Busy Bee is the florist who created a beautiful fall theme for our special day. Heidi, the owner, was a pleasure to work with and understood what we were envisioning for our flowers. She not only created our bouquets and boutineers, but also the centerpieces and the chuppah. She added flowers to our wedding cake and made a beautiful mantlepiece for above the fireplace in the ballroom. She also decorated the aisle with matching ribbon. Heidi's shop is also adjacent to Vows and Anahit's Bridal Alterations at 337 Watertown Street in Newton, Massachusetts. To see more of her work, go to her website at You can also view our pictures in our on-line wedding album.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Chocolate boxes, etc.!

Here is a perfect recipe for place card holders: Chocolate boxes!! This allowed us to make a wedding favor, place card, and food-choice indicator all in one:

We used nice little white boxes I got out of one of my jewelry supply catalogs (100 of them for about $24), we filled them with chocolate coins (for good luck wishes) and then tied them shut with smart li'l black bows. To each box we tied the person's name using none other than the luxe papers from Paper Source - and each tag was color coded:

Pink for salmon
Checkered blue for chicken
Sage green for vegetarian

Hope this helps you if you are looking for place card ideas.

Nancy Gould Photography

Nancy Gould is the photographer who recorded our special day. She was fantastic to work with and took beautiful pictures. To see more of her work, go to her website at You can also view our pictures in our on-line wedding album.

Wedding Programs

Here's a fun project if you are looking to make some classy yet affordable wedding programs for your wedding.

What you will need:
Cream-colored legal size copy paper (1 ream = 500 sheets)
DMC floss in two colors (light pink and chocolate brown)
Pads of 11"x17" 50 ct. Vellum (makes 100 programs)
Paper Source "half moon" enclosures (luxe blush)
Watercolor paper or luxe cream paper (for sashes and for monograms)
Cream-colored satin ribbon
2 monogram rubber stamps (bride and groom's initials)
Ink pad (brown)
Double sided tape
Small hole punch
Laser printer/computer

You will simply need to print your programs on the copier paper lengthwise, 2 per page. In other words, if you cut the paper in half the long way, you will have 2 program pages, each approximately 5" x 14" that you can fold in half to booklet size. The final booklet size will therefore be 5" x 7". You can also print your title page on the vellum for a soft effect. Once all of your bookelts are printed and folded, bind each booklet with the DMC floss.

Next you will need the program holders: For this we used the Paper Source's blush luxe half moon enclosures with watercolor paper or luxe cream cover stock wrapped around the middle. This is secured with double sided tape. For quick results I recommend the 3M kind that comes in a dispenser. The mongrams were stamped on cream cover stock as well using a monogram rubber stamp for each of our last names and chocolate brown ink. Holes were punched in the corners of the mongrams and tied around the whole program. Slide the booklets into the folios and there you have it!

Liner Notes

So you got an invite, you came to the wedding, you enjoyed the food, the fun, the laughter, experienced tears of joy, sweet music, dancing, and all the other festivities and emotion that go along with a day spent with Ron and Jen. You went home with a mix CD that was placed on your plate, and perhaps you have already listened to each song 5 or 10 times. What you still may be wondering though, is what are the meanings of each of those songs, and why were they chosen. Unfortunately, we didn't have time nor the energy to expand the liner notes on our CD. However, we were fortunate and energentic enough to at least leave you with the titles and artists, right?

Here, in this blog entry, we have decided to expand the liner notes so that the next time you listen to the songs on the CD, you will have a greater insight and appreciation to the meanings of each tune to the newly-wed couple:

At Last, Etta James
This is "our song" cause it only took us 5 years to decide to FINALLY get married - LOL!

Chipi Chipi, featuring Maria Esther Zamora
You will have to read the "Carnical Carioca" entry below, but as mentioned, Ron's maternal side of the family is from Argentina. As such, we decided to have our own Carnival Carioca, as is the tradition of most Argentinian celebrations. This song is from the soundtrack of The Motorcycle Diaries, an EXCELLENT soundtrack if you are in need of something new and unusual - we highly recommned it - we listen to it a lot on road trips. Chipi Chipi is the sound the percussion makes and it just puts us in a good mood.

Come on and Dance with Me, Frank Sinatra
Ron and I met swing dancing, and this is a great song to dance to..and well, it's a song about dancing!!

Dirty Water, The Standels
Not on our mix, but is a Boston CLASSIC!

Embracable You, Nat King Cole
A song Ron loves and thinks of when he thinks of Jen

Erev Shel Shoshanim
Translation - "An Evening of Roses" - a popular Hebrew song played at Jewish weddings. This is the song Jen and her parents walked down the aisle to.

Fly Me to the Moon, Frank Sinatra
Another great swing song - Jen and her brother Tom grew up to the tunes of Sinatra playing through the house as Sinatra is their mother's and grandmother's favorite singer. Jen swore she would eternally hate Sinatra because of this...but alas, it grew on her over the years - isn't Ole Blue-eyes orchestra THE BEST?

Youve Got Somethin, Squirrel Nut Zippers
A wicked-fast track...Ron blasted this song in the cruiser as Jen and Ron drove away after the wedding.

I Love You, Climax Blues Band
A song Jen loves and thinks of when she thinks of Ron

LOVE, Natalie Cole got cut off at the end...we's not our favorite, but it's a classic.

Lets Stay Together, Al Green
What a great song - fun to "Westie" swing dance to as well!

Massachusetts, Anita ODay
Yet another lindy-hop favorite with very appropriate lyrics.

Mil Besos, Patty Griffin
Which in Spanish means "1000 Kisses". This is a romantic ballad sung by one of Jen's favorite singers: Patty Griffin. She's one of those petite ladies with a BIG voice, and a HUGE spirit.

Al Otro Lado Del Rio, Jorge Drexler
Spanish for "The Other side of the River," this song is also from the soundtrack of The Motorcycle Diaries. This is just a beautiful song that may remind you of the clich, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." Just don't forget to take a good look at your own yard before you go jumping to the other side - it may just need a little weeding.

Popsicle Toes, Dianna Krall
Who doesn't like Dianna Krall? You can dance some blues to this number.

Shining Star, Earth Wind and Fire
...and who doesn't like EWF? They define good sound don't they? This is a great song to "Westie" to, or maybe put it on your iPod, strap it to your arm, strap on some roller blades and go roller dancing in Central Park on a summer Sunday afternoon!

Shiney Stockings, Duke Ellington
Jen's favorite swing song...ever!

Over the Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo`ole
Bitter-sweet and beautiful, makes you think of life in retrospect.

Stars Fell on Alabama, Billie Holliday
Another romantic classic - Jen and Ron just love swing music.

True Companion, Marc Cohn
Some people actually use this song as their "wedding song". The lyrics are beautiful. Seriously, "When the years have done irreparable harm, I can see us walking slowly arm-in-arm. Just like that couple on the corner do, cause i'll always be in love with you."

Un Amor, Gypsy Kings
Spanish for "One Love". A wonderful group, all of their songs are fantastic, but of course this one is beautiful to dance to.

Walk Through the World with Me, Marc Cohn
Another by Marc Cohn - a great way to think of married life - someone to walk through the world with.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Wedding Party

Maid of Honor:
Jennie, Best Friend of bride

Best Ma'am:
Wilson, Friend of Groom

Samantha, sister-in-law of Bride
Celena, friend of bride & groom
Pamela, friend of bride & groom

Thomas, Brother of Bride
Albert, Brother of groom
Kenny, friend of bride & groom

Chuppah Holders:
Jennifer P
Gennifer G
Jennifer G


Monday, November 07, 2005

Let "Milo" Open the Door

Here is a song that my brother Tom put into our slideshow. Often I will enjoy a particular song a lot just listening to it. However, sometimes I find I like even better when I read the lyrics on paper. I found this to be especially true with this song. It's a song we sing to our cat Milo sometimes: Milo likes to open and shut our bedroom door a lot, so we sing to him, "Let Milo open the door..." Here it is:

Artist: Pete Townsend
Song: Let My Love Open the Door

When people keep repeating
That you'll never fall in love
When everybody keeps retreating
But you can't seem to get enough
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart
When everything feels all over
When everybody seems unkind
I'll give you a four-leaf clover
Take all the worry out of your mind
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart I have the only key to your heart
I can stop you falling apart
Try today, you'll find this way
Come on and give me a chance to say
Let my love open the door
It's all I'm living for
Release yourself from misery
Only one thing's gonna set you free
That's my love
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart
When tragedy befalls you
Don't let them bring you down
Love can cure your problem
You're so lucky I'm around
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Meaning of Arpy

"ARP! ARP! ARP!" Many people ask, "What the heck is arpy?" True it is a confusing term, rarely heard before unless you have hung around Jen and Ron long enough to know that it is a kind of pet-name, or a term of endearment. With that said, you may still be asking, "Yes, but where did the word arpy come from?" This is a more complex question with an even more perplexing answer. To understand its origin, one must go back to when Ron and Jen's friendship first blossomed. To arp is simply a silly gesture of love, like kissing someone's nose, for example. This is something Ron liked to do a lot - so much so, that Jen began to call Ron arpy. This caught on over time to the point that Ron and Jen no longer call each other by their real names.

Recently, Ron and Jen were shopping in a department store. As they each kept refering to each other as arpy, little did they realize they were about to learn something new about their little nick-name: Suddenly, a fellow shopper turned around and said, "I feel like I am shopping with my daughter as I keep hearing her name called, and I turn around and keep realizing I didn't bring her with me today. Who keeps saying arpy?"
"We do!" proclaimed Jen. "It's what we call each other...why, is your daughter's name Arpy?"
"Yes!" said the other shopper.
"How do you spell it?" asked Jen.
"A-R-P-I" answered the woman.
"REALLY!!! What nationality is that? What does it mean?"
"It means sunlight in Armenian." she answered.
"How appropriate!" said Ron.

Jen and Ron were very happy to learn that this is in fact a very popular girl's name with a beautiful meaning in Armenian culture.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Lyman Estate

Our wedding took place outdoors in the Gardens of the Vale, at the Lyman Estate. Here is a little history about this beautiful site: In 1793, Boston merchant Theodore Lyman and his wife Lydia purchased land in Waltham for their country estate. The Lymans hired the prominent Salem architect Thomas McIntire to design their mansion. The Lyman Estate, also known as the Vale, was completed in 1798 in the Federal style. The elaborate 24 room summer mansion represents a lifestyle that has all but vanished. The grand ballroom, with its high ceiling, decorative frieze, large windows, and marble fireplace, was the center of Lyman family entertainment for more than 150 years. The more intimate oval room was used for smaller family gatherings.

The beautiful grounds of the Lyman Estate included a deer park, ponds, greenhouses, and flowing lawns. The earliest greenhouse was constructed before 1800 and is thought to be the oldest in the United States. The family donated the Vale to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, which continues to operate the estate and its greenhouses. In 1974, Theodore Lyman Storer, grandson of Robert Treat Paine, gave the Paine House with acreage to the City of Waltham.The Robert Treat Paine House has been meticulously restored by the city to its original condition.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fluffy Stuff

The Aufruf refers to the calling up of the bride and groom to the Torah on the Shabbat before the wedding. It is an opportunity for the community to publicly recognize, congratulate, and share in the joy of the bride and groom's wedding to come. In some communities it is customary to throw candy afterwards to send the bride and groom wishes for a sweet marriage. For the sake of safety and amusement, the congragation at Temple Reyim threw cotton candy at Jennifer and Ron's Aufruf.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Ketubah

In Jewish tradition there is a marriage contract called a Ketubah that defines the relationship in terms of life-long commitment. The word Ketubah literally means,,that which is written. It is a contract that a man makes with a woman, obligating the Chatan (the groom) to serve, cherish, sustain and support the Kallah (the bride) in truth. Traditionally, it is interesting to note that although the entire ketubah is written in Aramaic, the language of the Babylonian Jews, the date is written in Hebrew. In particular, the Hebrew word for month, Chodesh, is used. The word Chodesh is derived from the word Chadash, meaning,new, and it therefore denotes renewal. Every wedding may be seen as the beginning of a new world.

Also interesting to note, the month of Elul is the Hebrew month of Ron and Jennifer's marriage. Elul, when spelled in Hebrew letters, is the acronym for the words, "I am to my beloved, as my beloved is to me" (Ani Ledodi V'dodi Li - also inscribed on Ron's wedding band). The month of Elul is a time of heightened spirituality as it is a time of introspection and preparation for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). The signing of the Ketubah took place before the ceremony, and was attended by immediate family. Dan Goldman and Richard Martinoff acted as witnesses of the acceptance of the terms by the bride and groom by signing the ketubah. The Ketubah itself, entitled Song of Songs II was created by the artist Howard Fox. As its name suggests, this Ketubah is framed by beautiful verses from King Solomon's Song of Songs. Its richly colored outer border, reminiscent of a Persian tapestry, is complemented by a lighter inner border featuring delicately illustrated flora, fauna and musical instruments.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Bedecken

Immediately following the signing of the Ketubah by two witnesses for the bride and groom comes the Bedeken. The Bedeken is a ritual based on a tradition which requires that the groom see the bride before the ceremony and cover her face with the veil. This custom dates back to the Biblical episode in which Jacob was deceived into marrying Leah instead of his chosen bride, Rachel, because she was hidden behind the veil. Ron was brought before Jennifer for the veiling, ensuring her identity. This of course became a humurous event which took place before the main ceremony and was attended by immediate family and close friends.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Chuppah

Here is the newlywed's handmade chuppah: made of embroidered silk, duchess satin appliqu, antique lace and trim. The embroidered panels read, "Ani Ledodi V'Dodi Li," meaning, "I am to my beloved as my beloved is to me." This chuppah was designed by the bride with help from the groom, and crafted by hand by the bride herself. The florist helped put the finishing touches to it by adding grapevine, willow, berries and fall flowers. This chuppah is now a family heirloom that will be passed throughout our new family.

According to tradition, the Chuppah is open on four sides welcoming family and friends. Jennifer and Ron were led to their Chuppah by their parents who later stood beside them under the Chuppah. Gennifer Geller, Jennifer Gentry, Richard Martinoff and Jennifer Brumbaugh acted as Chuppah holders, standing at the four corners, not only to support Ron and Jennifer in marriage, but to join them in uniting their families. After Jennifer arrived at the Chuppah, she circled Ron seven times. The number seven is significant in Judaism because the number seven is found throughout the Torah and Jewish life. The seven circles are representative of the seven wedding blessings that were recited during the ceremony. Hence, Ron is encircled seven times by Jennifer symbolizing her vow to love him. Also, her circles symbolically represent a new family circle, establishing the space that Jennifer and Ron will share. After Jennifer finished circling Ron, she stood at his right side and the ceremony began.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Touch of Glass

Being savvy with her hands, Jen wanted to make one-of-a-kind handmade jewels for her bridesmaids and chuppah holders. While not illustrating in the studio, Jen often metalsmiths with silver, glass and gold at the Cambridge School for Adult Education in Harvard Square. Jen created each bridesmaid's necklace using dried Queen Anne's lace on a background of silk from her own gown. Each piece was embedded in glass that was set with sterling silver bezel and strung to a necklace made of glass and crystal beading. Each chuppah holder was given a matching bracelet.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Hora or Horror?

As Jewish tradition goes, none is more synonymous with Judaic celebration than the Jewish Folk dance called the Hora. Dancing and singing in large group circles is a wonderfully fun and popular past-time at weddings and B'nai Mitzvot. Even more unforgetable is the experience of being hoisted up on chairs, high above family and friends. Sometimes, a bride and groom would be tempted to swing from the chandelier... LITERALLY! As an attendee at many weddings, I always thought how fun and wonderful it must be to be carried around a grand ballroom, as loved-ones celebrated one of the most meaningful moments of one's life. Not so as a bride, however. Ron and I were hoisted high. Though we appreciated our family and friends good intentions, the experience was scarier than I had imagined: Ron and I both fell from our chairs at least once. I can only remember seeing the beautiful antique crystal chandelier in front of me as I slipped out of my chair, and had to keep telling myself not to grab it, or we would be seeing a huge bill from the Lyman Estate the next day. Fortunately, the fall was not far and we were both caught by those below. But of course, just as soon as we both insisted we were ok, we were hoisted up again. Sounds like fun, eh?

Tossing the Bouquet(s)

In keeping with Victorian tradition (Ron and Jen's favorite period style), Jen tossed her bouquet after the cake tasting. Tossing the wedding bouquet is an age-old tradition that originated as a bridal self-defense technique. Since getting married was pretty much the luckiest thing that could happen to a woman, guests wanted to share in that luck by taking a little bit of the bride home - literally. At the end of the wedding reception, guests would often tear off pieces of the brides dress, veil or flowers as take-home tokens of good luck. To escape unscathed, the bride would toss her bouquet into the throng and run away. Luckily, Jen had scraps of her dress that she embedded in glass pendants for each of her bridesmaids (see "A Touch of Glass").

According to wedding folklore, tradition states that the lucky lady who catches the bouquet will be the next to wed. Both Ron and Jen viewed the bouquet toss as a fun and lighthearted part of the wedding reception, and wanted to share their luck with the rest of their guests. However, Jen herself has never caught a toss bouquet at other weddings. Considering the original toss-tradition a bit outdated due to its surrounding folklore, Jen prefered to spread luck a little further: Jen made her own bouquet that broke into seven smaller arrangements. Each mini-bouquet had two fortunes of good wishes tied to it. Hence, Jen asked that both men and women who wanted to participate, stand behind her as she untied her arrangement.

Additionally, Jen's florist had made an extra bouquet that was meant to be tossed. Jen decided to honor and present this bouquet to her good friend, Chris Lee Gerardi, as a token of thanks for her role in assisting with the making of a smooth and stress-free wedding day.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Wedding Tree

As with every memorable event, having a guest book of some sort keeps the warm memories of a wedding alive for yeras to come. However, instead of using a traditional book, a Fall-themed wedding tree was made from a bush in Ron and Jen's front yard that needed serious pruning. The branch was cut, pruned and painted white by the bride. the groom then planted it ina terracotta planter with pretty marble stones. Jennifer's sister-in-law, Samantha, punched the leaves using a large leaf-shaped paper punch and multi-patterned and colored art papers Jen had in her collection.

The tree along with paper leaves made with patterned paper and ribbon were placed in the Oval Parlor with pens for signing. Each guest wrote a "wish" or a "hint for a happy marriage" or just a simple good-luck thought. Guests then shared their thought for the bride and groom by tying their leaves to the branches of the tree. Ron and Jen are currently enjoying their tree as a centerpiece in their dining room. Eventually Jen will place all the leaves in a wedding scrapbook.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Carnival Carioca

In Brazil, Carnival is always a big occasion to feast with mockery. From North to South Brazil, streets and clubs are coloured and decorated with Carnival's symbols such as masks, pierrots and colombines. Wherever you are you can dance and participate to carnival parades. Even in Jewish tradition, a wedding is seen as an occasion to make a bride and groom feel like King and Queen for a day, with court entertainment.

As Ron's maternal side of the family is from Argentina, we decided to have our own Carnival Carioca, as is the tradition of most Argentinian celebrations. Ron and I had attended our good friends' wedding in Buenos Aires last summer where I was introduced to this custom of Carnival for the very first time. Essentially, at the end of the wedding reception, tango and samba music is played, masks and noise makers are handed out, and everyone dances and celebrates. It is just plain FUN! So we brought "mardi gras" items to the reception for people to enjoy. Ron liked his "Milo" hat so much, he insisted we save it as a wedding keepsake.

Friday, September 30, 2005

A Brother's Toast

When Jen and I were growing up, our parents had this phrase they would use to get us to shape up when we weren't behaving at our "finest"...YOU DECIDE

For example, "Do you want to go to your room?" YOU DECIDE
"Do you want to go to the waterpark tomorrow?" YOU DECIDE
"Do you want to continue taking gymnastics and ballet lessons?" (specfically for Jen) YOU DECIDE

As much as we hated this phrase, I think it actually fine-tuned our decision-making skills over the years. I remember Jen coming to me on many occasions for advice on a variety of things:
What should she do when she grows up?
What college should she go to?
What it it like to drive a car? (which she could still use some advice on)

Yet regardless of the difficult choices at hand, she always seemed to make the right ones. Moving away from her childhood home and friends, starting a new life at 15 wasn't easy, but she still managed to make new friends, one of which is still her best friend today. Anyone here notice how she tends to gravitate towards people named "Jen"? I think there's 15 Jen's here today.

She figured out on her own that she wanted to go to the University of Maryland, and then to Johns Hopkins. Her creative and artistic side mixed in with a love for science/animals led her to choosing a career in medical illustration, something at which she is such a perfectionist that she's often too hard on herself, and doesn't realize how good she really is.... Earlier this year I was at an engagement party in Dallas with my in-laws, and the bride-to-be happened to be a medical illustrator. When I mentioned Jen's name, she knew EXACTLY who she was, and told me in fact that Jen was somewhat of a mentor to her.

But the most important choice of all was finding someone who fits her personality so well, and that someone is Ron. He is not only creative like Jen, but funny like Jen, spontaneous and adventurous like Jen, and talented in his own profession, in the computer industry, like Jen.

When I see them together I just know that they are so happy. All you have to do is watch them and listen to them to know this is true. I swear, in almost every photo I have they're doing that swing "dip" pose. I really like Ron a lot and am proud to have him as my new brother-in-law.

Yes, Mom and Dad, Jen has heard your repetitive anthem from our childhood loud and clear. She's made her decision, and it was an excellent one.

I'd like to raise a toast to Ron and Jen: May the two of you continue to make good choices together for many years to come.

Ron and Jen, YOU DECIDE

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Dolly Llama

Yes, the rumors are true. The Dolly Llama was in fact the official ring bearer at the Fairman Schmelzer wedding. Dressed in his finest garb, he proudly wore each of the gold bands on his two ears, bedecked with a beautiful peach silk ribbon. His holiness the Dolly Llama rode in, high on the shoulder of the Best Ma'am, Wilson Farrar. The groom gave "Wilkie" a Llama Dolly because she was to visit the Dalai Lama the week after the wedding. Thankfully she was not harmed in the earthquake that occured that week!

Now for some funny Llama entertainment:

Llama Llama Duck lyrics

here's a llama
there's a llama
and another little llama
fuzzy llama
funny llama
llama llama

llama llama
llama llama
llama llama

i was once a treehouse
i lived in a cake
but i never saw the way
the orange slayed the rake
i was only three years dead
but it told a tale
and now listen, little child
to the safety rail

did you ever see a llama
kiss a llama
on the llama
llama's llama
tastes of llama
llama llama

half a llama
twice the llama
not a llama
llama in a car
alarm a llama

is THIS how it's told now?
is it all so old?
is it made of lemon juice?
now my song is getting thin
i've run out of luck
time for me to retire now
and become a duck

Monday, September 26, 2005

Charlie's "Jen" Angels

How many Jens do you know? What are the chances of having 50% of your classmates named Jen? This is what happened when Jen attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins - with 3 of her 6 classmates, including herself, named Jen! Call parents from the 1970's creative, or crazy, but it is true! The 3 Jens, Brumbaugh, Fairman and Gentry, decided to continue one of their favorite graduate school pastimes, and posed as Charlie's Angels, using only flowers as their weapon of choice.

Just Married!

So what's next? Ron and Jen drove to North Hampton, Massachusetts for a weekend get-away/pre-honeymoon excursion of rest and relaxation. Along the way, many passers-by on the road gave Ron and Jen and celebratory honk seeing that the PT cruiser had been decorated with paint and balloons (among other objects of interest). They stayed at the lovely Hotel NorthHampton, a landmark that is over 100 years old. The next day they went window shopping, and of course enjoyed one of NorthHampton's favortie past-times: marble slab ice cream!

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed...

and what could be BLUE? Jen decided since no one would see her feet under her long gown, to paint her toes baby-blue. The other ladies decided on a lovely shade of raspberry red. For something old, Jen had her mother's veil wrapped around her bouquet of roses. Jen wore a new ivory silk strapless gown with a cascade of silk ruffle in the back as a train. Her veil was borrowed from her good friend Pamela Berberich.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

At Last!

The Big Day has come and gone! It was a wonderful rain-free day for an outdoor ceremony, and now we are catching up on our zzz's. To view more photos and our wedding website, go to Stay tuned for other plans.